All four members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission who are not members of the Democratic or Republican parties are decline-to-state voters, though at least two have had a prior affiliation with a third party. In his application for the Commission, M. Andre Parvenu of Culver City apparently first identified himself as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party but then sent a follow-up email stating that he is in fact a decline-to-state voter, not registered with a political party. Asked about the discrepancy at an applicant review panel on September 9, 2010, Mr. Parvenu stated that he had voted for the Peace and Freedom Party in the past but now prefers to be nonpartisan, and thought it would be “better to go decline to state,” adding, “throughout this process I want to remain neutral.” Mr. Parvenu has a bachelor’s degree in geography and urban studies, a master’s degree in geography and urban planning, and has been a city planner in Los Angeles for the last ten years.
Another Independent member of the Commission appears to have past ties to the Green Party. Michelle R. DiGuilio-Matz of Stockton cites her status as a decline-to-state voter as evidence of her “ability to be impartial.” In response to an essay question on her application for the Commission, she writes, “While I have been listed with formal political parties I have always voted in a manner to reflect the qualifications and expereince of the individual or issue on the ballot.” Asked later to clarify what she meant by this statement, DiGuilio-Matz responded that she had previously been a member of the Democratic Party and the Green Party, but has been registered as a decline-to-state voter for at least five years. In her application materials, she writes:
“I have found that, while organized political groups have certain commonalities and/or affiliations that may serve their consituents, I too often have seen strict party adherance coming at the expense of rational discussion and critical thinking. “Decline to State” reflects my desire to be as unbiased as possible in adhering to political positions and a willingness to be open minded in measuring the validity of various positions.”